HAIFA – This year, the Haifa procession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which takes place every year from the Latin parish of St Joseph to the Stella Maris Monastery, was without any COVID-19-related restrictions, and saw many locals from all over the Holy Land attend the event.
Last year, due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the procession had been turned to a convoy of cars that drove all the way to the top of Mount Carmel. This Sunday, the third of Easter, it became again the traditional march that has been organized for more than a century (the first procession took place in 1919, to bring the statue of the Stella Maris monastery, moved during World War I, back to its original sanctuary).
“Today we walked up. Today we are rejoicing. But eventually, we’ll have to go back down, to our daily worries and problems,” said His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as the procession came to an end around the Stella Maris Monastery. “So, where we are going, we must bring the joy of tonight. We must bring the consolation of the gaze of our Mother, which we received today, in our everyday life.”
In the rest of the world, Our Lady of Mount Carmel is traditionally celebrated on July 16th, as this date commemorated the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Saint Simon Stock, a Carmelite who lived during the 13th century. On July 16th, 1251, she appeared to him and gave him the Brown Scapular, the habit of the Carmelites, today also considered a sign of faith and piety.